Aaron Judge follows through on his tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday night that gave the New York Yankees a 9-7 win over the Boston Red Sox. Judge extended his home-run streak to five games with a three-run blast in the second inning, then connected again in the eighth to cap a three-run rally. Kathy Willens/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge homered twice and drove in five runs, connecting for the fifth straight game and breaking an eighth-inning tie with a tape-measure shot that powered the New York Yankees past the Boston Red Sox 9-7 on Sunday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

“I really think he’s on a mission right now,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said.

Luke Voit also went deep in a back-and forth slugfest to help the Yankees (7-1) finish a three-game sweep in the first series this season between the longtime rivals. New York has won six in a row and 11 of 12 against Boston since last July.

DJ LeMahieu tied it 7-all in the eighth with a two-out RBI single off Matt Barnes (0-1) past diving second baseman José Peraza. The clutch hit came after Mike Tauchman, who entered on defense in the seventh, walked and stole second.

“We needed that win,” Barnes said. “Two outs and can’t walk the 9-hole hitter.”

Judge then launched a 2-0 breaking ball, a no-doubt drive that landed several rows up in the raised bleachers beyond the left-center bullpen for his sixth home run already this year.

With no fans allowed at Yankee Stadium because of the coronavirus, teammates in the dugout were easily heard bellowing in excitement when Judge connected.

“Not locked in yet. Still trying to find it,” he said. “I’m feeling good.”

The big slugger also socked a three-run shot in the second, making him the first Yankees player since Álex Rodríguez in September 2007 to homer in five straight games.

“He’s healthy, man. He’s a stud,” Voit said. “He’s in a groove right now. It’s a guy that you don’t want to take your eyes off when he’s hitting.”

Xander Bogaerts went 4 for 4 with two home runs and a double for Boston. Rafael Devers put the Red Sox ahead 7-6 with a titanic drive to right-center in the seventh.

Devers and Christian Vázquez each had an RBI single in a three-run third, when Boston took advantage of shaky defense by center fielder Aaron Hicks and left fielder Miguel Andújar, a converted third baseman who committed a costly error.

Adam Ottavino (1-0) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings as New York’s bullpen bailed out James Paxton, who was ineffective again in his second start of the season following back surgery.

The left-hander averaged a career-low 91.5 mph on the 34 fastballs he threw among 62 pitches.

“I’m concerned,” Paxton said.

Zack Britton got three quick outs for his third save.

“Anytime you lose a game like this is tough,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. “It’s tough, too, when you have it set up like you want to.”

It was Judge’s 10th career multi-homer game and first since July 5 last year at Tampa Bay.

“He has been all over everything,” Barnes said.

New York also got successive RBI doubles with two outs in the third from Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela, who had three hits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Following a night off, slumping J.D. Martinez was back in the lineup playing right field, giving catcher Christian Vázquez a breather as the DH. Boston Manager Ron Roenicke said he considered using Martinez as a pinch-hitter Saturday, but the veteran slugger has a lengthy routine when getting ready, and both preferred a full night off.

Yankees: All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman has thrown on back-to-back days since rejoining the Yankees following a bout with the coronavirus. The team hopes to have him throw a bullpen session Monday. “He’s doing great,” Boone said. “Everything’s gone well.”

UP NEXT

Red Sox: After five days in New York and 10 games in 10 days to begin the season, the Red Sox get two days off this week. They open a two-game series Tuesday night at Tampa Bay, with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) on the mound against two-time All-Star Charlie Morton (0-1).

Yankees: Right-hander Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.09 ERA) makes his first home start for the Yankees when they face Jake Arrieta and the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. Cole signed a $324 million, nine-year contract as a free agent last offseason. “I know obviously his history of being a lifelong Yankee fan and knowing how much it meant to him coming here and being a part of this team and pitching for this franchise, and I know it’ll be a big deal for him putting those pinstripes on for real for the first time in a real game,” Boone said. The teams were originally scheduled to meet four times last week, but the Phillies haven’t played since July 26 because of COVID-19 concerns after hosting the Miami Marlins, who had a major outbreak.

 


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